TV Series

Atypical: Season 2/ Episode 2 “Penguin Cam and Chill” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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It’s all about power plays and dynamics this episode as Paige and Doug set ground rules and Casey meets Izzie’s boyfriend Nate.


Network
Netflix
Director(s)Ryan Case
Writer(s)Robia Rashad
Air Date9/7/2018
Characters Introduced
NateGraham Phillips
IzzieFivel Stewart

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Laying Down The Rules: Paige, Sam, Elsa, Doug

Let’s begin with the parents, with Elsa still having a key to the house, and having the impression the separation is temporary, she seems to want to keep up her wifely duties. Problem is, Doug and the kids don’t necessarily want her to. Leading to some ground rules being laid down which include her assuming he has things handled, only texting if there is an emergency, and giving him a few hours if she wants to see the kids.

As for what has Doug so gung-ho on handling things? Well, father penguins. You see, Sam is really into this penguin cam thing and Doug takes up a real interest in it. Finds inspiration in it even. Making him feel he can handle things alone.

Switching to Paige and Sam, taking note from an older cousin, and people at school, Paige attempts to create a casual relationship with Sam. Problem is, he is a little too good at being casual with her. Especially with the rules basically boiling down to limited intimacy and conversation – they just make out when she wants to.

Commentary

Doug laying down the law with Elsa and how she will interact with him and the kids.
Doug: Okay, we need to set some ground rules.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I feel bad for Elsa. While I fully understand Doug’s decision, she seems seriously rocked to the core not having access to her family and the validation which comes from being a homemaker. Making me wonder if she may head back to see the bartender for I can’t imagine Elsa wallowing in despair and not seeing some kind of way to pick herself back up. Even if the method is unhealthy. I mean, she was about to kidnap Kathy’s cat. Leading to the thought: Will she go to therapy to help with this situation? Maybe even recommend couples therapy? Though, considering Doug took his ring off, it may be over for real-real not for play-play.

As for the kids? I think we can all agree Paige’s pursuit of trying to be in control and more mature was not her idea. Probably her cousin acted like the evil incarnate of Zahid and gave her bad advice. If not set an example she thought was cool and hip but forgot that a lot of things like that don’t click for Sam. That dude and the word “chill” or “casual” aren’t synonymous. Between his natural personality and where he is on the spectrum, the only thing a casual relationship could do is probably tap into the worse bits of his personality. As shown when Paige more so needs a friends with benefits, if not a full-on boyfriend, than something casual.

The Rules Aren’t Good For Everyone: Paige, Sam

With Casey gone, you would think Sam might have an issue with Paige wanting to barely keep things friendly and almost purely physical. However, he actually flourishes under these new rules. They make out, seemingly, on a schedule, and when the bell rings HE IS OUT! Which kind of gets to Paige since, so it seems, the whole point of the casual relationship stuff was to regain some power in their dynamic. Yet, Sam is still very much benefiting from the situation while she feels… not used but definitely like their relationship is still unbalanced.

This especially becomes an issue when she stress bakes and still has Sam in mind as the first person to tell when she gets waitlisted. Yet, with him sprouting off the nearly dozen rules they have and noting he didn’t tell her about his parent’s marriage troubles, she is hurt. Especially since he brings up Julia as the first person he would talk to. Thus making it clear this casual thing can’t last. Maybe them interacting period.

Commentary

Sam loving the rules which deal with no feelings and just making out.
Sam: No talking about feelings. So, where should we make out?

HOLD UP! Did Sam or did he not try to talk to her, by a video call in the last episode, but she shut him down? I just wanna know because her getting jealous of Julia seems kind of dumb to me. Though, let’s be real, this whole thing was just a power play. I think, after she felt played by Sam, and considering how uncomfortable she may have been about giving him a hand job, now she wants to assert herself and gain some control over the direction of their relationship.

Which only makes sense right? As we saw Casey and Sam being similar in episode one, we see Paige and Sam are similar in this one. Like Sam, Paige likes routine, things going her way, and it not going her way leads to her freaking out uncontrollably. Making you wonder, why didn’t she have a real conversation with Sam about how she felt vs. this casual nonsense?

Because, based on season 1, Paige’s feelings for Sam weren’t purely physical. She had to get him comfortable just to be able to handle the physical stuff. What Sam did best, when he tried, was be a good friend she could talk to about feelings, life, and while, yeah, he could be brutally honest and opaque, it was part of his charm.

So here is hoping she doesn’t keep the shenanigans up and just speaks to Sam head on. For while he’ll likely be confused, as shown, if you are patient and break things down, he’ll often get it. Especially if you take note of his current interest to explain your thought process.

The First Week At Clayton: Nate, Izzie, Casey

Casey’s first week at Clayton is hell. The track team captain, Izzie, is a serious ass****. She doesn’t show Casey around, doesn’t help her understand the convenience system at lunch, and basically leaves her to fend for herself. Luckily, Izzie’s boyfriend Nate is far friendly. He even buys her a whole ass pizza.

Leading to the question: Won’t Izzie be mad? Well, from what it seems, Nate kind of doesn’t care. Not to the point of standing on a chair and boasting about what he has done, but with knowing Izzie is just insecure, since Casey is faster, it seems he figures she’ll get over it.

Commentary

Nate texting Casey about having lunch together the next day.
When did Nate even give Casey his number?

The side eye is real. Nate got a girl, got money, and is being EXTRA nice to Casey. Either she is being set up or Nate is just plain stupid. It has to be one of the two. For all this man had to do was lend his convenience card and call it a day. Maybe show her where things are. Nope, instead, he buys a whole ass pizza, which you know, even rich kids, were probably looking to have a slice. So him watching Casey take down that whole pizza is going to get folks talking.

Making me wonder, was this whole episode about power plays and power dynamics? Doug asserting his control over the household, Paige’s feeble attempt to control her relationship with Sam, and now Nate trying to remind Izzie he has options? Especially considering how the next episode summary, on Netflix, hints to Izzie and Casey sharing something? Like, say, maybe not being rich? Though it could also be having someone on the spectrum in their family.

Either way, I don’t trust Nate farther than I can spit.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Who is Sam talking to, when speaking about tuning out Paige, in the chair which was in Julia’s office? He clearly isn’t talking to her, doesn’t have a therapist right now, so what is going on? Are these snippets from his many conversations with Julia in the past?

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Casey realizing Clayton's classes are advanced.
Casey: Oh, cool. Yeah. I just never knew I was dumb.

Highlights

  1. Seeing Paige’s rules blow up in her face.

On The Fence

  1. Nate’s kindness seems like something which can’t be fully trusted.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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